Merlin (Tv Series) 2008

Merlin is a British television drama series that began in 2008. It is based on the Arthurian legends of the mythical wizard Merlin and his relationship with Prince Arthur, though differs significantly from more traditional versions of the myth.

Produced by independent production company Shine Limited for BBC One, the programme is designed to run in the same Saturday evening family drama slot as series such as Doctor Who and Robin Hood. The show has been commissioned for a second series.

Plot: Merlin arrives at the city of Camelot, where the king, Uther Pendragon, has outlawed magic and imprisoned the last dragon. Merlin, who was born with extraordinary magical powers, is taken as the apprentice of Gaius. Merlin later discovers, after being informed by the last dragon, who is held as a prisoner deep under the city, that he has an important destiny in protecting Uther’s arrogant son, Arthur, so that he may grow up to found a great kingdom. The era in which the series is set is ambiguous; traditionally the Arthurian legends are set in the dark ages, and the idea of King Uther reigning over a small kingdom (which is present in both traditional legend and the television series) sets it before the union of England in 927. Despite this, the castle interiors are 15th century, making the series’ setting inconsistent with English history. Britain is never mentioned, though the dragon has used the name Albion, which is the oldest known name for Great Britain. The television series deviates significantly from more traditional versions of the legend, such as those written by Geoffrey of Monmouth and Thomas Malory. For instance, in the original myth, it is Arthur who builds Camelot, whereas in this series it pre-dates Arthur’s father Uther. Another key difference is that in the television series, Arthur and Merlin are of approximately the same age, whereas in traditional myth, Merlin is much older, and acts as Arthur’s tutor. This kind of relationship is played out between Gaius and Merlin. Morgana, normally shown as an evil sorceress, is here a kind and caring woman. Other characters from Arthurian legend have appeared. Lancelot was portrayed as a commoner who longed to become a knight. Mordred has been shown as a young Druid boy who formed a bond with Morgana (in some legends Mordred’s mother) and who was prophesied by the Great Dragon to be the cause of death of Arthur (in the legend this occurred at the Battle of Camlann). Mordred and the Great Dragon referred to Merlin by his Druidic name, Emrys (the Welsh form of Ambrosius; Ambrosius Aurelianus was a historical figure whom Geoffrey of Monmouth partially merged with Merlin). Geoffrey of Monmouth himself has appeared as the court genealogist.
Cast and crew
* Colin Morgan as Merlin: The series protagonist, a young, remarkably talented sorcerer who attempts to keep his powers secret and will one day become the greatest wizard in the world. He is also Arthur’s friend, despite the initial animosity between the two.
* Bradley James as Prince Arthur: the headstrong, arrogant and reckless but kind and benevolent son of King Uther, and future King of Camelot. He is friends with Merlin, and the pair have saved one another’s lives on numerous occasions.
* Richard Wilson as Gaius: Camelot’s court physician and one of the few who know Merlin’s secret. Gaius used to be a sorcerer himself, and is something of an alchemist and magical scholar. He has a dry sense of humour and sees Merlin as the son he never had.
* Anthony Head as Uther Pendragon: Arthur’s father and current king of Camelot. Uther is depicted as a ruthless and sometimes cruel man, but he cares deeply about his subjects and friends. However, he is frequently blinded by his hatred for all forms of magic.
* Angel Coulby as Guinevere (Gwen): Morgana’s humble maid servant, and her friend. She has an open, friendly personality but is occasionally antagonistic with Arthur.
* Katie McGrath as Morgana: King Uther’s ward and the daughter of his late best friend. Morgana is best friends with Gwen despite their class differences and is also secretly a “seer” – a person who has prophetic powers.
* John Hurt as the voice of the The Great Dragon: Merlin often visits the Dragon when in a predicament, because the Dragon knows what Merlin is destined for. The Dragon is also one of the few who know his secret. The Dragon appears omniscient at times, and his motivations are unknown beyond his desire to be released from the dungeons of Camelot.
* Michelle Ryan as Nimueh: The main antagonist of the first series, Nimueh is here portrayed as a beautiful, powerful, but amoral sorceress, bent on overthrowing Uther and Arthur and restoring magic to Camelot.
Guest appearances
* Eve Myles as Mary Collins / Lady Helen (“The Dragon’s Call”)
* Caroline Faber as Hunith (“The Dragon’s Call”, “The Moment of Truth” and “Le Morte d’Arthur”)
* Will Mellor as Valiant (“Valiant”)
* Santiago Cabrera as Lancelot (“Lancelot”)
* Asa Butterfield as Mordred (“The Beginning of the End”)
* Julian Rhind-Tutt as Edwin Muirden (“A Remedy to Cure All Ills”)
* Kyle Redmond-Jones as Sir Owain (“Excalibur”)
* Alexander Siddig as Kanan (“The Moment of Truth”)
* Joe Dempsie as William (“The Moment of Truth”)
Directors working on the first series include James Hawes, Ed Fraiman, Jeremy Webb, David Moore, and Stuart Orme.
Ratings
The series première drew an overnight average of 6.65m (30%) viewers in the 7:30 slot (and a final consolidated figure of 7.15 million) despite being scheduled against popular ITV series The X Factor. The series as a whole had an average of 6.32 million viewers, which is fewer than Doctor Who attracted during its first series, and slightly more than those received by Robin Hood. Merlin was the fifth most watched programme on BBC iPlayer in 2008.

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Watch Merlin (Tv Series) 2008 Trailer